Swat Valley is a fairytale land of romance and beauty, offering unlimited sights that the eye can behold,with mighty ranges of Hindu Kush mountains , the Karakuram and the black mountains – consisting of the gentle slopes, placid plains, torrential streams, lush green meadows and thick green forests of pine. It is truly an exciting experience travelling through this nature’s art gallery.If there is any other place that equals its beauty then it is Switzerland and the Kashmir valley in India.
History of Swat Valley
The valley of Swat is located in the middle of the foot hills of Hindukush mountain range.
Due to its fertile soil and favorable climatic conditions, Swat has been the abode of various nations and subjected to historical events from time to time. Though this valley has an ancient history, in the light of historical documents, its recorded history begins with Alexander The Great, who conquered Swat in 326 BC.Alexander defeated Persia, thenceforth, he entered Swat via Kunar in 326 BC. Buddhism was in full bloom here.
The well-known general of Alexander, Salukis, gave Swat to Chandragupta back in 304 BC. Another Buddhist king, Kanishka, shifted his capital from Peshawar to Swat so that he may be peaceful enough to worship his deities with full satisfaction. Then Raja Ram Batti and many other great personalities ruled Swat, and worshipped their gods with full peace and meditation in cloisters. Raja Gira was the last Buddhist ruler of Swat, who was defeated by Mahmood of Ghazni.
when Mahmood Ghaznavi conquered Swat, he wanted to settle some of his people to keep the control of the conquered area. So he settled two tribes the Swati and Dalazak here. As the Swati tribe was larger, the zone was called by the name of this tribe, Swat !
The main town of the valley is called Saidu Sharief.Besides being a very popular tourist destination Swat is an ideal place for leisure Lovers , Hikers , and archaeologists. There are many comfortable hotels where one can stay while visiting Swat valley.
The enchanting Swat valley is a peaceful and fascinating tract in the lap of sky-high mountains, with eternal snow on their crests, is an everlasting source of attraction for the visitors. Its beauty attracts tourists from all over the world , who come to enjoy the soothing and serene sceneries, and the friendly behavior of its inhabitants. A visit to Pakistan would never be complete without visiting the beautiful Swat Valley. There are many flights from Islamabad , the capital of Pakistan which is just about 160 kms away.
The area of Swat is 4000 sq. miles with a population of about 12,50000. Its height is not similar but varies from 2500 ft. to 7500 ft. above sea level. There are more than 100 archaeological sites in Swat.January is the coldest month of the year. The temperature, generally, remains between 40°F and 45°F (2°C to -2°C). The coldest period of the season is from the last week of December to the end of February.
The hottest month is July, in which the temperature rises to more than 90 °F (32°C) in the plains, but in mountainous areas, it is lower.
The most well known and beautiful region in Swat is Kalam, which is a very popular tourist destination.It has many hotels and guest houses and is surrounded by mountains, lush greenery ,water falls, streams and an abundance of strawberries growing all over the place.
Another major attraction is the Kundol lake which is a stunning place that is situated in the Utror valley.
However of late Swat valley has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Last year it fell into the hands of the Taliban terrorists , thereby bringing a complete halt to tourism .A place that was once known as the Paradise on Earth has become a living hell for its inhabitants and a constant headache for the Pakistani administration which is facing the consequences of not having curbed terrorism at its infancy !